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Japan Atomic's Tokai No. 2 plant set to pass restart screening

The Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station, right, whose operation has been suspended, and the Tokai nuclear power station, left, which is being decommissioned, are seen in this March 2017 file photo in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said on June 27 that it is set to complete a safety screening of Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture -- a reactor Japan Atomic is looking to have both restarted and its operational life extended.

Japan Atomic filed a written amendment for the Tokai No.2 nuclear plant's safety measures with the NRA on the same day. Commenting on the move, NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa said at a news conference, "We can forecast the prospects for the screening." After NRA officials examine the amendment, the nuclear watchdog is expected to present a draft report at a regular meeting stating that the nuclear plant has met the new safety standards.

The Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant will be decommissioned if the facility can't pass three types of NRA screenings, one each for adherence to the new safety standards, construction plans for updating the plant, and the operational life extension. All the screenings must be passed by Nov. 27, 2018, the day before the plant reaches its 40-year operational limit.

While there were concerns the construction plan screening may take too long to meet the deadline, the NRA judged at a June 26 meeting that the basic design for the reactor has met the security standards as a result of tests on safety measure devices and other evidence. That results in promoting the process of restarting the nuclear reactor and extending the operational periods for up to 20 years.

(Japanese original by Toshiyuki Suzuki, Science & Environment News Department)

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